|Reviews for Night and Day|
| Guest chapter 14 . 1/4
I love your story so very MUCH!
Honestly, I envision the characters more like in the books. (Dally being not too tall, blonde, and leaking hair grease, Johnny having shaggy hair and having "puppy eyes", Two-Big being tall and strong ECT )
| AnOunceofShag chapter 30 . 12/2/2014
I love Tim’s tough-love speech. Only Tim can speak to Dally on those terms, and it’s exactly what he needs to hear. And this line: “I swear that little punk causes me more trouble than he’s worth.” Haha! Yeah right, Dallas. You keep telling yourself that.
The brick! Classic Dally move. Brilliant. The perfect ending. I don’t think if you had a hundred years you could have come up with a better conclusion. This ending managed to make me laugh and smile, which is amazing considering the heavy subject matter and the painful journey of shame, denial, and illness that the story most strongly focuses on. I'm so happy to see Dally back to his usual orneriness.
Thank you for sharing this wonderful story!
| AnOunceofShag chapter 29 . 12/2/2014
I’d like to restate what a good job you do of taking into account the influence adults have on the boys. I like Rick, Two-Bit’s multi-dimensional mom, and the hint at a loving grandfather that you’ve given Dally in this chapter.
It was a nice touch to have Two-Bit so fed up, so filled with pent-up anger that he starts the rumble. And I enjoyed this humorous aside: “I didn’t know [I was brave enough to start it] either!”
But of course, the strongest and most moving part of the chapter and maybe the whole piece is Dallas jumping into the rumble to rescue Johnny. This is exactly what needed to happen. Dally is so used to being top dog–it’s essential to who he is–that I think the only way he could start to overcome what happened is to kick some *ss protecting the people he cares about most. Even though he was injured, I’m glad to see him up to usual antics. This will help him move away from (understandably) feeling like a victim and allow him to see himself a hero again.
| AnOunceofShag chapter 28 . 12/2/2014
“‘Dal?...You okay?’ ‘No I ain’t.’” Finally.
I’m glad Dally’s reached rock bottom, reached his breaking point so he can admit he needs help. This is the most difficult step when you’re in the throws of denial about a problem (wish I didn’t know this), but from here on out, he can start the process of seeking help and moving on. And the self-loathing that follows, how doesn’t understand why anyone would care about him...honestly, I have a hard time picturing Dally feeling this way, because he’s presented as so cocksure about himself in the book: proud of his police record, proud of his status as a hood. But I think there is a lot more to Dally that goes on behind the scenes outside of Pony’s view. More self-doubt than his arrogant, bitter grin and thumbs-in-belt-loop swagger reveal. And if insecurity hadn’t been there before, this assault sure as h*ll would have changed that.
Also, in light of this backstory you’ve given him, it adds an ominous layer to Dally’s later warning to Johnny in Windrixville that “you get hard in jail.” Even if he is going through a vulnerable time right now, ultimately I think he’d come out the other end of the trauma even more hardened.
| AnOunceofShag chapter 27 . 12/1/2014
The dialogue in this chapter is strong. It really gave me a sense of the story taking place in specifically in the ‘60s without having to rely too strongly on dated slang. I love Kathy’s use of the word ‘slick’ and Two-Bit’s dubbing of ‘Oil Can Stan.’ Tim calling Kathy his ‘sloppy seconds’ and a ‘handful’ just capped it all off. In fact, I like how Tim came off as intimidating, sexist, and flawed, while at the same he proved to be a real human being, because he was concerned about (and checking up on) Dally. The last bit is a nice foreshadow of the events in the books, when Tim shows up at the hospital to visit, also only pretending to care about an upcoming rumble.
| AnOunceofShag chapter 25 . 12/1/2014
D*mn right he's being selfish. I wish I could shout at him from behind my computer screen: ‘Two-Bit, you’re acting like such a jerk! Shut up!’ But if he had to tell anyone, Darry is the person. He can be relied upon to keep a secret, and he’s mature enough to handle the situation better than any of the other guys. I like how you write Darry: vulnerable in the very rare moments when he lets his guard down, but mostly in control, a responsible and considerate leader. You don’t let Ponyboy’s warped vision of him (as his younger brother) influence your take on the character.
| AnOunceofShag chapter 24 . 12/1/2014
“As it turned out, the movie wasn’t about some boring scholar that went job-hunting as Two-Bit originally thought.” Haha, this really had me snickering. Thanks for breaking up the pathos with some much needed humor! And: “I thought you would melt in the rain.” It’s good to see Two-Bit back to his joking ways, even if it is only temporary.
| AnOunceofShag chapter 22 . 12/1/2014
I’m honestly frustrated with Two-Bit for telling Rick. I suppose it’s ultimately the responsible thing to do because Dally needs help, and Two-Bit's overwhelmed, and Rick is a reliable adult. But at the same time, he’s betraying Dally’s trust. It was Dally’s secret to share, not his. I interpret the greasers’ values as loyalty to your buddies and sticking to your word as coming before anything else, and I think Two-Bit went against the unwritten code in telling. But I understand why he did it, and ultimately I think he had to tell, so Dally can be given the resources he needs to cope with this.
| AnOunceofShag chapter 20 . 12/1/2014
“...she was the only one who looked at him like he was something...for Dally it was special. No one else treated him like that.” I think this gets to the heart of Dally, and I like your interpretation of him here. He portrays himself as tough and cool beyond caring, but even if he does have the self-respect and confidence to stick up to his abusive/negligent parents and compartmentalize any feelings for them, he is not unfeeling all around. He may not have sought parental affection from his actual parents, but he found it and learned he needed it in Mrs. Curtis. Given the relationship you present them having, I can see why he took her death so hard.
As for Dallas’s confession...I’m sure it was hard for Two-Bit to hear, because it was hard for me just to read. Even without graphic details, there is enough to get a glimpse of truly terrible what happened to him was, to put his PTSD symptoms in context. Anyone who would dismiss Dally as a ‘wimp’ or claim he’s been acing ooc doesn’t understand trauma. And to make it worse on him, his assailants were never justly punished. I imagine that in itself would eat away at him.
And: “You said you wanted me to talk...So you better shut up and goddamn listen.” It’s refreshing to hear classic Dally bossiness and anger even when he’s sharing something he finds so deeply humiliating; it means there’s hope.
Finally: “Instead of me, it was Johnny.” Ouch. Poor Dally.
| AnOunceofShag chapter 19 . 12/1/2014
“...a quiet, nettled sigh.” I like this description. It’s hard to find the perfect word, one that’s not overused and yet precisely conveys what you’re trying to say, and ‘nettled’ does just that here. The image of Two-Bit holding his arm around Dally while Dally is sick sticks out to me. Both of them are so vulnerable in that moment: Dally, because he can’t help himself, Two-Bit, because he's learning more and more that he can’t help Dally the way Dally needs. I wish Two-Bit could force Dally to accept professional help, to stop feeling shame, but that’s not how it works.
| AnOunceofShag chapter 18 . 12/1/2014
“‘Who won pinball?’ ‘The kid.’” For some reason, I really love when Dally refers to Johnny as ‘the kid’ and this line the perfect opening for the coming exchange. We can really see how Dally’s projecting his own vulnerability and fears onto Johnny, or at least, focusing his anger on Johnny’s problems so he doesn’t have to address his own. And I think it’s telling that for Dallas, progress means anger.
Also, this chapter highlights Two-Bit's progress, too: he is able to put himself in a position to seek out happiness and hope for the future, rather than completely immersing himself in Dally's pain.
| AnOunceofShag chapter 17 . 12/1/2014
What I like best about this chapter is your characterization of Steve. The not-quite-bullying banter he tries to pull about Two-Bit being “Dally’s babysitter”–initially trying to act tough, trying to act like everything is normal so he doesn’t show how worried he is (until he caves in and takes Two-Bit aside for a serious talk). I think it’s interesting that Steve is perceptive enough to notice how poorly Two-Bit is doing and show his concern, but at the same time, he’s blinded by Dallas’s reputation and assumes Dally should be able to take care of himself.
| AnOunceofShag chapter 16 . 12/1/2014
I really feel for Two-Bit here. He’s in such a hard place, caught between the desire to help his friend and his natural instinct to avoid a problem that is far larger than what he can handle. “Never in all his life had Two-Bit been told to ‘loosen up.’” This line really puts it into perspective. And the fact that he scolds Johnny for going back home, when he knows it’s not going to change Johnny’s actions, when normally he’d make a joke to lighten the situation...you can see what a toll the burden of this secret is taking on him.
You do an excellent job of subtly showing us the connection Dally feels towards Johnny, when I think so many writers in this fandom want to hit us over the head with it. Johnny is the first person (outside of Two-Bit, who he came to for help) that Dally actively wants to see on a one-on-one basis, and that tells us a lot. The feeling of being a role model and protector to Johnny is something that Dally needs right now–asserting his masculinity in a positive way will help him heal from the trauma.
| AnOunceofShag chapter 15 . 11/3/2014
One thing I find especially impressive about this story is the pacing. You have managed to find the perfect balance of placing exciting but believable plot elements (the jumping, for example) within a largely character-driven narrative. This is something that has always been a challenge for me.
Some highlights I particularly love in the past few chapters:
In Ch. 13, When Two-Bit stand up to his mom and tries to sound firm but his voice “wobbly.” That description seems so real. And when he broke down in front of her, it is so poignant. You have presented us with this intimate portrait of Two-Bit and given him so much depth without straying from the (occasionally wise) wisecracker Ponyboy wrote about.
I really like Rick. Since there are virtually no father figures in The Outsiders (except, arguably Darry), these boys really need him! In Ch. 14, I was gushing when he called Two-Bit “champ.” And Rick taking care of Dallas in the middle of the night... I can only imagine how conflicted Dally must have felt, to finally feel the care of a father type, but at the same time ashamed of and frightened by his vulnerability... Really well played.
And: “...I’ve been putting up with your shit for as long as I’ve known you. What makes you think I’m gonna stop now?” This was the perfect line. I have no other words.
| AnOunceofShag chapter 12 . 11/3/2014
Chapter 12 just might be my favorite chapter. It’s so heart-wrenching, and you take the reader on such a roller coaster of emotions. My heart breaks for both Dallas and Two-Bit. And the specific, physical details that you use to show their emotions make your narrative so strong. I can really envision Dally sitting on the bed, despondent, flicking his lighter on and off, and then chucking it across the room in anger when Two-Bit confronts him, and crying and calling himself pathetic...
In the words of Jim Stark: “You’re tearing me apart!” Such good writing here!